Friday 22 December 2023

Murder convictions of Robert Mailman and Walter Gillespie quashed

Justice Minister Quashes Murder Convictions of Two New Brunswick Men Convicted of a Murder 40 Years Ago
Innocence Canada is announcing that this afternoon, Justice Minister Arif Virani quashed the murder convictions of Robert (Bobby) Mailman and Walter (Wally) Gillespie 40 years after they were charged and convicted in the murder of George Leeman in Saint John, New Brunswick.
On November 30, 1983, Mr. Leeman’s body was found by a jogger in a wooded area in Rockwood Park, Saint John. Mr. Leeman was the victim of a significant beating by one or more weapons and his body was partially burned. Mr. Leeman was living in Saint John in a rooming house when he was murdered.
Between January 19 and 21, 1984, the Saint John Police Service charged Wally Gillespie and Bobby Mailman with the murder. They also charged a third person, Janet Shatford, with the murder. Ms. Shatford subsequently pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Mr. Gillespie and Mr. Mailman both had strong alibis with multiple witnesses placing them far from the crime scene on the day of the murder. Nevertheless, they were convicted of the murder on May 11, 1984. Both were sentenced to life imprisonment without parole eligibility for at least 18 years. Not for one day have they wavered in insisting on their innocence.
Mr. Gillespie served 21 years of his life sentence in prison and is presently living in a halfway house in Saint John. He is now 81 years of age. Mr. Mailman who served 18 years in prison, sadly, is terminally ill. He is 76 years of age. He also lives in Saint John.
Innocence Canada has worked on their case for many years. We worked alongside Gary Dimmock, formerly a journalist with the Saint John Telegraph-Journal, now with the Ottawa Citizen. Mr. Dimmock investigated the case before Innocence Canada came to it and always believed in Mr. Mailman and Mr. Gillespie’s innocence. He deserves great credit for his work on their case.
Innocence Canada is grateful to Minister Virani for realizing the urgency of the case and giving his decision today to quash the convictions of both men and directing a new trial. We hope Mr. Mailman will be able to appear in the King’s Bench in Saint John in the near future as a result of the Minister’s Order.
Jerome Kennedy of Innocence Canada said today:
“I want to thank Minister Virani for his decision today. It is welcome news for both Mr. Mailman and Mr. Gillespie. Both are in their senior years and Mr. Mailman is gravely ill. This is the best news they could have, and Innocence Canada is privileged to have been helping them.”
James Lockyer of Innocence Canada said today:
“Minister Virani has stepped forward for Mr. Mailman and Mr. Gillespie. The causes behind their wrongful convictions can be left to another day. Today is one of celebration for them.”
Ron Dalton, co-President of Innocence Canada, said:
“I spent 9 years in prison for a murder that I did not commit and much of that time I spent with Bobby Mailman and Wally Gillespie in a maximum-security penitentiary. They never gave up hope that one day justice would be done for them. Today is that day and I congratulate them on their perseverance and courage.”
Bobby Mailman and Wally Gillespie issued a joint statement today:
“It has taken 40 years. Today we are happy that justice is being done for us. Neither of us had anything to do with Mr. Leeman’s murder. We have always been innocent and we thank the Minister for what he has done.”
As a final note, the Minister’s powers to review wrongful convictions are set out in the Criminal Code of Canada. His greatest power is to quash a wrongful conviction and direct a new trial. It is a power rarely exercised but it is what he has done today for Mr. Mailman and Mr. Gillespie. The case is now in the hands of the original trial court, the Court of King’s Bench in Saint John.
For further information, contact:
Jerome Kennedy at 709-725-2966 or
James Lockyer at 416-518-7983 or

Ron Dalton at 709-327-6864 or 

Sunday 22 October 2023


 Indigenous Man Returns to the Court in Winnipeg where He was Convicted 50 Years Ago



More than 49 years ago on March 5, 1974, Clarence Woodhouse, a young Indigenous man, and a member of the Pinaymootang First Nation on the Fairford Indian Reserve in Manitoba, was convicted of the murder of Mr. Ting Fong Chan in Winnipeg, a crime he did not commit.


On July 18 of this year, two of Mr. Woodhouse’s former co-accused were vindicated in the King’s Bench Court by Chief Justice Joyal in Winnipeg. A fourth accused, Clarence’s brother Russell Woodhouse, sadly died in 2011 before he could be vindicated.


On September 13, 2023, Innocence Canada filed an application with Federal Justice Minister Arif Virani for a ministerial review of Clarence Woodhouse’s conviction pursuant to the provisions of the Criminal Code.  We also filed a posthumous application on Russell Woodhouse’s behalf with the support of his surviving sister, Linda Anderson.


Clarence Woodhouse, now in his early 70s, has always proclaimed his innocence but no one listened to him.  The prosecution’s case at his trial in 1974 depended on a “confession” that he was supposed to have made in fluent English despite Saulteaux being the language he spoke. Mr Woodhouse testified that he was assaulted by members of the Winnipeg Police into signing a false confession, but the trial judge and the jury disbelieved him.  Innocence Canada has now adopted his case and brought it before the Justice Minister urging him to quash his conviction.


Monday, October 23, 2023, will be the next step on Clarence Woodhouse’s road to vindication.  He will appear at 2:00 p.m. before the King’s Bench Court at 408 York Avenue, Winnipeg asking that he be released on bail pending the Minister’s decision. 


Jerome Kennedy, a Director of Innocence Canada, who has led the case for Mr. Woodhouse’s vindication, said today:


“49 years has been an interminable wait for Clarence Woodhouse, but he never gave up.  Tomorrow will be an extraordinary day for him, to be back in the very same court where he was wrongly convicted.”


James Lockyer, also a Director of Innocence Canada, who is assisting Mr. Kennedy with the case, said today:


Innocence Canada is privileged to be able to help Mr. Woodhouse and we will be there for him at his release hearing.”


For further information, contact:  


Jerome Kennedy at 709-725-2966 or

James Lockyer at 416-518-7983 or


Tuesday 25 July 2023


 Black Tape Or Not this Rate R Section Will Be Turning Heads on the Parade Route

By Stephen Weir The biggest question of the spring wasn't about the revealing costumes that the Rated R section will be wearing on the road at this August's Grand Parade. It was whether anyone would be brave to actually sign-up and join in.

Imagine revelers confidently dancing down the Lakeshore, cracking whips. They will be adorned in black and purple S&M-inspired fishnet costumes, with optional black X tape covering their nipples and super small silver codpieces to ensure legality. Their full-contact performance will be truly captivating.
"Yes, of course we sold out!" exclaimed Thea Jackson, the leader of the R-Rated section. "We received a fantastic response and actually have about 60% American participation, which I love. It's evident that those who choose to wear this costume are incredibly comfortable in their own skin and enjoy pushing boundaries. However, we also have some individuals who are more reserved, and for them, wearing this costume is a risk they've always wished to take. It's a beautiful thing."

The R-Section is just one of fourteen sections comprising this year's Toronto Revellers mas band. With a theme of "It's Show Time," the other sections will wear costumes that strike a balance between modesty and sensuality.
Costume production is in full swing at the Reveller's Mas Camp located at 2450 Victoria Park Ave, North York. "We are prepared to be one of the standout sections on the road," Jackson informed the Caribbean Camera. "Both masqueraders and spectators have yet to witness anything like this on the streets of Toronto... until now! In a flurry of purples and pinks, you won't be able to miss us."

While bare breasts have occasionally been exposed on the parade route in the past, this might be the first time a section, will be participating in such a manner if and it is a big if, the masqueraders opt out of wearing the supplied “boob tape” over their nipples
The members of the R-Rated group have already engaged in a group chat. The Revellers have informed them about how much they will stand out from the rest of the parade and advised them to be prepared for the attention they will receive. "We will have additional marshals on the road but do not anticipate any issues," said Jackson. "We actually have a significant number of men within the section as well, so I am confident that the ladies will be well taken care of!"
Based on reporter Weir's inbox traffic, the Rated R section has generated the most discussions in this year's Toronto Caribbean Carnival. The organizer she says she is looking forward to blowing everyone's mind this carnival and once again in 2024!

Emancipation On Bloor / Underground Toronto Train Ride

 1,000 will ride the midnight subway train

Tenth Year For the Underground Toronto Train Ride

There is a serious annual spiritual event during this Carnival season in Toronto, and it is coming down the track straight at you. The Emancipation Day "Underground Freedom Train" Ride begins on July 31st and ends early on August 1st, with over 1,000 people on board.

This year marks the tenth time that the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has partnered with the Blackhurst Cultural Centre (formerly A Different Booklist Cultural Centre) to provide an actual underground experience via its subway system, representing the underground railroad journey. This is a very emotional song filled train ride, probably Canada's largest of its kind, and open to all Canadians, for the price of token.

"The Emancipation Day 'Underground Freedom Train' Ride is symbolic of the role of the Underground Railroad within Canada's history," explained Itah Sadu, one of the founders of the event. "This train ride is a recognition of the historic date of Emancipation Day on August 1st when slavery was abolished in the British Empire. It is also a celebration of the power and potential of the peoples of African descent."

Formerly enslaved people undertook an incredible and dangerous journey in their migration to Canada, and this symbolic train ride helps keep history alive by connecting the past to the present and ultimately linking to the future.

The journey begins and ends at Union Station in downtown Toronto. It all starts at 10.30 p.m. inside Union Station with choirs, drumming, brass music, and greetings from the TTC and city officials. The train will be boarded at 11:40 p.m. The route travels along the TTC subway line to Downsview Station, where there will be music, readings, and special guests just outside of the station. The train will then return everyone back to Union Station by 12:45 a.m.

This year's conductor is Barbara Thomas, Nursing Admin Coordinator at the Toronto Western Hospital for 55 years. She is a former Board Director of the Jamaican Canadian Association, and her record of volunteerism spans over 50 years.

Also attending will be Kathy Grant, the recipient of the 2023 Emancipation Award for preserving, documenting, and curating local Black history in the city. She is the founder of Legacy Voices, an organization dedicated to the histories of Black Canadian war veterans.

The theme for the 10th anniversary is "Planting Seeds of Emancipation." Over the past years, the Emancipation Ride has planted seeds of hope and inspiration through its symbolism. This is evidenced in the attendance of all Canadians to the Ride, its innovation, and the positive relationship shared with the TTC and community organizations as event collaborators.

"During this 2023 season of Emancipation," said Sadu, "it is important to give thanks to Mother Earth for nurturing us, to thank the ancestors who came before and prepared fertile ground. Finally, to ask the question, what new seeds will Canadians plant going forward, and how soon can they break soil and cultivate?"

Passengers aboard the Emancipation Train, will be given a package of organic corn seeds to take home and plant.

Emancipation On Bloor 

Following the Underground Freedom Train ride, which ends in the early hours of August 1st, Emancipation celebrations continue with the Emancipation On Bloorwalk. That starts at 12:30pm. The walk will proceed along Bloor St form Bathurst to Christie Pits.  The public is invited to join the walk in recognition of the National Emancipation Day. The gathering place is outside the Randolph Theatre, located at 736 Bathurst Street. Participants are asked to wear white and come with wrapped heads.

Joining this year’s Emancipation on Bloor is BMO, which will make a joint announcement with the Blackhurst Cultural Centre at Blackhurst Cultural Centrelocation. The 12.00 pm announcement will precede the Emancipation Walk. 

Emancipation on Bloor is an animation of Bloor Street. The animation takes place at key intersections on Bloor from Avenue Rd, to Christie Pits with a number of artistic expressions and music.  The event commemorates an important milestone for descendants of enslaved Africans. It marks the abolition of slavery and honours the many contributions and resilience of African peoples throughout the Diaspora. 

Monday 17 July 2023



Press Release:  

Innocence Canada

Monday, July 17, 2023 


Two Indigenous Men Return to Court in Winnipeg where They were Convicted 50 Years Ago



Brian Anderson and Allan Woodhouse, two young Indigenous men, members of the Pinaymootang First Nation on the Fairford Indian Reserve in Manitoba, were convicted of a murder they didn’t commit 50 years ago.


On June 22, 2023, Justice Minister David Lametti quashed their murder convictions and ordered new trials for them both.  Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 18, 2023, they return to the Court of King’s Bench in Winnipeg for the first time since they were wrongly convicted to appear before the Chief Justice of the Court for their new trials.


Mr. Anderson and Mr. Woodhouse, both now in their late 60s, have always proclaimed their innocence but no one listened to them.  Several years ago, Innocence Canada adopted their cases and brought them before the Justice Minister urging him to quash their convictions.


Tomorrow will be the next step on their road to vindication.  They will appear before Chief Justice Glenn Joyal at 10:00 a.m. in the King’s Bench Court at 408 York Avenue, Winnipeg. 


Jerome Kennedy, a Director of Innocence Canada, who has led the case for their vindication, said today:


“50 years has been an interminable wait for Brian Anderson and Allan Woodhouse but they never gave up.  Tomorrow will be an extraordinary day for them, to be back in the very same court whether they were wrongly convicted.”


Brian Anderson and Allan Woodhousewho assisted Mr. Kennedy with the case, said today:


Innocence Canada is privileged to have been able to help these two men and we will be there with them tomorrow.”


For further information, contact:  


Jerome Kennedy at 709-725-2966 or

James Lockyer at 416-518-7983 or



Thursday 22 June 2023

BREAKING NEWS from Innocence Canada Two Indigenous Men innocent after 49 Years


Justice Minister David Lametti Quashes the Wrongful Convictions for Murder of Two Indigenous Men 49 Years After Their Convictions


Imagine that you are a young Indigenous male in 1973, a member of the Pinaymootang First Nation, who has just moved to Winnipeg from the Fairford Indian Reserve 240 kilometres north-west of Winnipeg.  You speak some English, but Saulteaux/Ojibway is your first language.  You have no criminal record and are gainfully employed.  Then one day you are charged with the brutal murder of a man called Ting Fong Chan, killed by unknown assailants on the streets of Winnipeg as he walked home from work.  You were not there when he was killed and had no involvement in the homicide.  Nevertheless, the police arrest you and force you to sign a false confession.


This is what happened to Brian Anderson and Allan Woodhouse, two young Indigenous men.  They proclaimed their innocence, but no one believed them.  The nightmare continued and they went to trial for murder before an all-white male jury. The police officers, the lawyers and the judge were all white men.


They were convicted of murder in 1974 and sent to jail for life.  They kept proclaiming their innocence, but no one listened.  Decades later, they heard about Innocence Canada and asked for their help.  Innocence Canada adopted their case and took it to the Minister of Justice.  No one could give them back the years stolen from them, but they hoped that someone would finally recognize their innocence.


This nightmare scenario happened to Brian Anderson and Allan Woodhouse.  These two young men were the victims of systemic racism.  Today, they take a giant step on their road to vindication.  Minister David Lametti has recognized the injustice wreaked on them decades ago and exercised the greatest power he has under the Criminal Code. He has quashed their convictions for murder and directed a new trial for them both.


Their story is one of remarkable courage and perseverance.  They have never wavered in their quest to prove their innocence.


Jerome Kennedy, a Director of Innocence Canada, who has led the case for their vindication, said today:


“This is a great day for justice for Mr. Anderson and Mr. Woodhouse.  49 years has been an interminable wait for them but they never gave up.  I never doubted their innocence.  I want to thank the Minister and his working group on wrongful convictions for their great work on this case.”


James Lockyer, also a Director of Innocence Canada, who assisted Mr. Kennedy with the case, said today:


Innocence Canada is privileged to have been able to help these two men.  Their cases raise important systemic issues that need to be addressed in Manitoba and across Canada.  Innocence Canada looks forward to discussing with the Federal and Provincial Governments the next steps in righting the wrongs done by our criminal justice system to Indigenous peoples in the past, and preventing the same wrongs being done to Indigenous peoples in the future.”


No date has yet been set for Mr. Anderson and Mr. Woodhouse to appear before the presiding Justice of the Manitoba King’s Bench Court.  We will advise the media as soon as we know.

Below is the Justice Minister’s announcement regarding their case.



For further information, contact:  


Jerome Kennedy at 709-725-2966 or


James Lockyer at 416-518-7983 or


Thursday 23 March 2023

Judge to give Decision on Freedom for 2 Indigenous Sisters in Prison for more than 30 Years

Bail Decision to be made at 9:00 a.m., Monday, March 27 in Yorkton, Sask

Justice Layh of the Court of King's Bench in Yorkton, Saskatchewan will deliver his decision whether Odelia and Nerissa Quewezance, two Indigenous sisters who have been in prison for more than 30 years since Feb 25, 1993, should be released on bail while they wait for Minister Lametti’s decision in their case. 


In December, 2021, the sisters asked the Minister to review their convictions for 2nd degree murder as miscarriages of justice. They are supported by Innocence Canada and many Indigenous activists’ groups and supporters across Canada. 


In June, 2022, the Minister advised that he believed there may have been a miscarriage of justice in their case. 


In the summer of 2022, Odelia and Nerissa filed an application in the King’s Bench Court for their release on bail pending the Minister’s decision. The application was heard by Justice Layh in November 2022, and again in January, 2023. 


On Monday, Justice Layh will deliver his decision in open court in Yorkton. Odelia and Nerissa will both be there, along with their families and supporters. 


Media can attend the court in person to hear Justice Layh’s decision.



Thursday 16 March 2023

 Face of the Festival (and a body too!) wanted for 2023


Just as this week’s Caribbean Camera was going to press, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival sent out a call for this year’s Face of the Festival.  The carnival is looking for a Brand Ambassador to represent the Toronto Caribbean Carnival this summer.


“Are you the next Face of the Festival?” asked festival organizers in the first issue of their new Carnival Insider newsletter. If you think you have the passion, energy, and rhythm to represent what the Toronto Caribbean Carnival is all about, we need you! Register for a chance to become the 2023 Face of the Festival.”


“If you believe carnival is LIFE and believe there is no greater joy than jamming down de road with your section, then we are looking for you. Your duties will include event appearances, event hosting, appearing in social media content, and promoting Toronto Carnival to the world!” reads the newsletter article.


In advertising for the next Face of the Festival the TCC is using a picture of a beautiful female in Mas costume (pictured left in Caribbean Camera clipping of this article). It implies that only women should apply. Last year the carnival had both a male and a female model in the role.


 I used an the Dali-E AI programme to create the copyright free drawing of a reveller at the top of this page. Article by Stephen Weir

Friday 17 February 2023

INNOCENCE CANADA PRESS RELEASE‎ - February 16, 2023 - David and Joyce Milgaard’s Law


David and Joyce Milgaard’s Law

Minister of Justice Introduces Legislation to Establish an Independent Canadian Criminal Case Review Commission


David Milgaard

Innocence Canada is pleased with Justice Minister David Lametti’s announcement today of a new bill to establish an Independent Commission to review claims of innocence which has been named after Joyce and David Milgaard. 


We honour the memory of David and Joyce Milgaard (right) and all wrongly convicted individuals and their families.

We would like to also acknowledge the countless people starting with the Donald Marshall Jr. Commission of Inquiry, who have for over thirty years been advocating for an independent case review commission.  We are grateful to Justice Minister David Lametti for his dedication and commitment to making this important and vital new commission a reality.


We hope that the new proposed Criminal Code amendments will rectify the failures of the past and provide the wrongly convicted with the means to prove their innocence as expediently as possible.


Ron Dalton, Exoneree stated:


“This legislation would have been beneficial in the past, but we hope more importantly going forward, it will benefit those coming after us.”

For further information please contact James Lockyer, lawyer and Innocence Canada Director at 416-613-0416 or


Ron Dalton, Exoneree and Co-President, Innocence Canada at 709-327-6864 or  

issued by Stephen Weir



Sunday 22 January 2023



Toronto dancer about to take to the big stage with Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre

Not only is it the first weekend for Black History Month in Toronto, it will also be two days of first for dance fans.  On February 3rd and 4th “America ‘s Cultural Ambassador to the World” the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre will kick off its 2023 North American tour with a trio of performances at the downtown Meridian Hall (formerly the Sony Centre).

The 32-member dance troop will be performing for the first time in Canada a new dance — Are You in Your Feelings  — that acclaimed  choreographer Kyle Abraham describes as a “celebration of Black culture, Black music, and the youthful spirit that perseveres in us all.”

Finally and probably most importantly dance lovers in the city are finally going to see Hannah Alissa Richardson perform live on stage with this famed Dance Theatre. This is the Toronto native’s inaugural season with the Company and the first time for her dancing here since before the Pandemic shut down.

This is a sweet homecoming,” Hannah Alissa Richardson told the Caribbean Camera today, “My first time watching Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was back in 2012, right here in the then “Sony Centre,” now “Meridian Hall". I feel honoured and blessed to make my touring debut with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater here in front of my family and friends. And what a privilege it is to kick off Black History Month in Toronto! “

“Apart from zoom performances throughout the pandemic, the last time I danced in Toronto was for several dance videos including one

Alvin Aileys Revelations

for Def Jam recording artist Teyana Taylor and another for Toronto based videographer Lee Zavitz,” the 20 something continued.  “Before moving to the US and graduating with honors from The Ailey School, I danced with a competitive dance company, Maple Academy of Dance. I was also part of the cast of Disney Channel’s “Backstage” and Family Channel’s “The Next Step,” both filmed in Toronto.”

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was founded by the late Alvin Ailey in New York city back in 1958. Since then they have performed for over 25 million people in 48 states, as well as 71 countries on six continents. Always a stop on their North American tours, if the three performances on Friday and Saturday in Toronto (matinee and evening shows) follow tradition and are sold out, over 9,000 will see Richardson.

You won’t have trouble figuring out who she is, just listen for the wave of applause when she steps on stage for the first time.  Richardson has deep ties in the city. “I attended Holy Trinity School in Richmond Hill before moving to New York for my post-secondary education at The Ailey School,” she explained “I come from a

Hannah Alissa Richardson

Trinidadian and Filipino background. My father was born in Port of Spain and my mother was born in Manilla. I am proud of my culture. It gives me the basis to appreciate a variety of dance styles and forms.”

Both the Friday and Saturday night evening performances begin at 8 pm. The curtain raises at 4pm for the Saturday matinee performance. At every performance, the inspiring finale will be Alvin Ailey’s American masterpiece Revelations acclaimed around the world for sending hearts soaring and lifting audiences to their feet. Since its debut in 1960, Revelations has been seen by more people around the world than any other modern dance work.